Protecting your ears is very important if you work in a noisy environment, but it can be boring just to listen to the sounds of machinery and power tools all day long. One solution to this is to wear Bluetooth ear defenders that let you listen to music from your phone or other Bluetooth device while you work. Some ear defenders also have a built-in microphone so you can take calls on your phone via Bluetooth.
Ear Defenders with Built-In Bluetooth
ION Audio Tough Sounds Industrial Bluetooth Noise Reduction Headphones
The ION Audio Tough Sounds Noise Reduction Headphones offer noise reduction of 25 decibels in addition to Bluetooth and an AM/FM radio. They also have a built-in microphone so you can take calls without having to remove your headphones and take your phone out of your pocket. There’s also an aux port for connecting non-Bluetooth devices.
The controls for the AM/FM radio are all built into the headphones themselves, so it’s easy to change stations. You can also save 20 presets so you can quickly access your favourite stations.
These Bluetooth ear defenders have use a Lithium-ION battery which you can recharge using a mini USB cable. It should last at least 20 hours on a full charge.
- Good battery life
- Good value for money
- Bluetooth pairs easily and has a good range
- Radio reception could be better
3M Peltor WorkTunes Wireless Hearing Protector with Bluetooth
Made by the highly respected hearing protection brand Peltor, the WorkTunes Wireless Hearing Protector with Bluetooth is a smartly designed product that combines ear protection with AM/FM radio and Bluetooth technology for wirelessly streaming music. They have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 24 dB, which should be enough for most work environments.
One of these ear defenders’ smart features is what 3M calls Safe Volume Control Technology, which automatically adjusts the volume of your music to make sure you’re not damaging your ears. This helps protect your hearing, but could be annoying if you prefer to crank up the volume, as it doesn’t seem possible to disable this feature.
The controls are all built into the headset itself, so you can skip tracks and change the volume easily without having to take your phone or other Bluetooth device out of your pocket. One drawback of this product is that there’s no microphone so you can’t take hands-free calls from your phone, unlike with the ION Audio Tough Sounds Headphones reviewed above.
- Radio and Bluetooth work very well
- Batteries last a long time
- Can’t receive calls via Bluetooth
- Volume is limited
Using Regular Radio Ear Defenders with a Bluetooth Receiver
One alternative to buying Bluetooth ear defenders is to connect a Bluetooth receiver such as the TaoTronics Portable Wireless Audio Adapter (see on Amazon B00Y29NXEA) to regular radio ear defenders, thereby converting them into Bluetooth ear defenders. This could be cheaper than buying Bluetooth ear defenders. Here are a few good options to consider.
Honeywell 1030111 Howard Leight Noise Blocking Stereo Earmuff
These ear defenders from Honeywell have a single number rating (SNR) of 31 dB, which is higher than is offered by either of the Bluetooth ear defenders reviewed above. Lots of people use these ear defenders in combination with a Bluetooth receiver as they are affordable and offer good ear protection.
The Honeywell 1030111 Howard Leight have an aux-in port which would normally be used for connecting an MP3 player or phone via a cable, but you can instead attach a small Bluetooth receiver to it.
Unlike the other ear defenders reviewed above, these earmuffs don’t have a built-in AM/FM radio, but this isn’t a problem if you’re planning to use Bluetooth instead.
To say they’re primarily designed to be ear defenders rather than headphones the sound quality is quite good. The noise reduction is also effective, as you’d expect from Peltor.
These ear defenders are fairly comfy, but if you have a large head you might find them a bit tight. As with most ear defenders, they can get hot and uncomfortable if you wear them for long periods of time.
- Decent sound quality
- Good build quality
- Good noise reduction
- No built-in AM/FM radio
- Quite a tight fit
Nordstrand Ear Defenders Protection Muffs Headphones
The Nordstrand Ear Defenders are a popular alternative to the Honeywell 1030111 Howard Leight ear defenders reviewed above. They’re quite cheap, and come with a built-in AM/FM radio and a built-in AM/FM radio. You can easily attach a Bluetooth receiver to it and use it as a Bluetooth headset.
These ear defenders have an NRR of 25 dB, so they offer a good level of noise reduction. They work as well as most regular ear defenders when it comes to noise reduction. They’re not the comfiest ear defenders on the market, and could benefit from some more padding.
- Radio works well and is easy to tune
- Sound quality is quite muddy
- Can feel tight and uncomfortable